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AutoCAD WS Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating geometry


From:

AutoCAD WS Essential Training

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Creating geometry

Even though AutoCAD WS contains a basic toolset, you'll be surprised at how much you can really do with this application. With a little ingenuity, AutoCAD WS can be used to draw just about anything. In this lesson, we'll take our first look at some of the drawing and editing tools. On my screen is a cross-section of a typical concrete curb and gutter. I'd like to re-create this section such that we can run through a typical workflow for constructing geometry. Let me mention that if you are already an AutoCAD user, you'll feel right at home working in this application.

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AutoCAD WS Essential Training
2h 23m Beginner Nov 19, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course covers the basics of AutoCAD WS, focusing on workflows and collaboration that will help you and your team work more efficiently with this cloud-based CAD application. Author Jeff Bartels explains how to use the mobile and browser versions of the app, how to upload files and folders, and how to access and review drawing content. The course also shows how to perform standard markups, edit geometry and annotations, and plot to both PDF and DWF formats. A dedicated collaboration chapter demonstrates how to share drawings and use the Timeline feature to keep track of a drawing's version history.

Topics include:
  • Creating an AutoCAD WS account
  • Organizing files and folders
  • Viewing and editing drawings
  • Taking measurements
  • Redlining desired changes
  • Accessing and sharing drawings remotely
  • Editing annotations
  • Creating and inserting blocks
  • Plotting drawings to PDF or DWF
  • Incorporating aerial underlays
  • Practicing real-time collaboration
Subjects:
Architecture CAD
Software:
AutoCAD WS
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Creating geometry

Even though AutoCAD WS contains a basic toolset, you'll be surprised at how much you can really do with this application. With a little ingenuity, AutoCAD WS can be used to draw just about anything. In this lesson, we'll take our first look at some of the drawing and editing tools. On my screen is a cross-section of a typical concrete curb and gutter. I'd like to re-create this section such that we can run through a typical workflow for constructing geometry. Let me mention that if you are already an AutoCAD user, you'll feel right at home working in this application.

I'm going to start by panning this over, to give myself some room on the right side. I'll then visit to draw a tab. This is what we can find a complete collection of drawing and editing tools. Now to start my drawing, I am going to create a rectangle that represents the outer boundary of this geometry. So I'll move up to Draw panel and launch the Rectangle command. I'll then click to define the lower-left corner, I'll pull up and to the right, and I'll enter a Length of 25 and press Tab and a Width of 18, and I'll press Enter when I'm finished.

Next, I'll select this rectangle, and I'll move up to the Modify panel and launch the Explode command. This will convert the edges into individual segments making them easier to offset, which is what I'm going to do next. I'd like to offset the lower edge up 4 inches to create this line. So I'll select the lower edge, I'll launch the Offset command and enter a distance of 4. I will then click above the line to choose the side. Next, I'd like to create these two circles. Looks like their centers fall 4 inches above the previous line.

So I will select my last line, launch the Offset command again, press Enter to accept the previous distance, and I'll click above the line to choose the side. Now it looks like if I offset this back edge to the left 4 inches, I will have a nice intersection that defines the center of this circle. And if I offset the front edge to the right 4 inches, I can find the center of this circle. So we'll go back to the Offset command. Now, I don't have to keep going to the top of the screen for that command. If you look right down here, there is a Contextual toolbar, and Offset is on the right side.

I'll offset this entity 4 inches to the right. I will then offset the back edge 4 inches to the left. Now I'll move up and launch the Circle command, and I'll use the built-in intersection object snap to snap to the intersection of these offsets, and it looks like the circle has a diameter of 0.75. Now AutoCAD WS doesn't allow us to enter diameters. So, I'm going to do a little math. Since the diameter is 0.75, the radius must be 0.375.

I'll then press Enter to re-launch the Circle command, and I'll create a similar circle at this other intersection. When I'm finished, I'll select my offsets. They're no longer necessary, and I'll press Delete to remove them from the drawing. Next, I'd like to find this intersection. It looks like if I offset the front edge to the right 18 inches and the top edge down 6 inches, I can find that corner. So I will select the front edge, I'll offset that 18 inches to the right, and I'll offset the top edge 6 inches down.

Let's do one more, I'd like to find this intersection. To get there, I will offset my back edge 6 inches to the left. Now I'll move up and launch the Line command, and I'll create a line from the end of this offset to the intersection of these two. I will then select my offsets and press Delete to remove them from the drawing. Now I'll create this line segment. It looks like it's drawn at a slope of three quarters of an inch per foot.

I'll use the Polyline command to create this entity. I'll start at the endpoint of my previous line. I will then move down and click the Ortho toggle to turn that on and to create the slope, I'm going to pull to the left and type 12 and press Enter, that would be a foot. I will then pull up and type 0.75 and press Enter, that would be three quarters of an inch. I will then use the Close option that we can see at the Command Line. I'll type C and press Enter. And this segment represents my slope.

Now, since I drew this entity as a Polyline, each of these segments is treated as a single object. No problem. I can use the Contextual toolbar to explode. I will then select the unnecessary segments, and I'll press Delete. Finally, I'd like to extend this line to the front edge of the part. I'll do that by selecting the front edge. I'll move up and launch the Extend command, and I'll click this line to project it to the front. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Now it looks like I can use these two straight segments to trim the top and the front edge of the section.

So I'll select both of my lines, I'll move up and launch the Trim command, and then I'll select the objects I'd like to trim, and I'll press Escape when I'm finished. Looks like the only thing we have left is to add a 2-inch fillet at this intersection and a 3-inch fillet at this one. I'm going to launch the Zoom Window command, and I'll zoom in on this area. We'll center it a little better on screen. As long as I'm here, I'll click to collapse the Command Line.

If you look at the Modification panel, you'll notice there's no Fillet command, that's all right. We can create these fillets manually. To create a 2-inch fillet at this upper intersection, what if I selected the top line and then offset it 2 inches down? Then what if I offset this front edge 2 inches back? Where these two lines intersect, I could create a circle with a radius of 2 inches to create my fillet.

All I have to do now is trim up the entities. Before I do this, let me mention that AutoCAD WS can be a little grumpy when it comes to trimming manual tangencies. So let's see how well this works. I'm going to select the circle first, that's my cutting edge. I'll then launch the Trim command, and I'll trim this segment, and this one. And it looks like only one of the segments is trimming, that's all right. I'm going to press the Escape. Instead, I'm going to trim the segments manually. I remember from geometry class that when a circle is tangent to a straight line segment, if I was to draw a line from the center of the circle perpendicular to the straight segment, it would pass through the point of tangency.

So if I was to draw a line from the center of this arc perpendicular to this line, I could use that to trim the geometry. Now I know what you are saying, there is no perpendicular object snap. That's correct, but take a look at this, this offset is parallel to this edge. What if I select it, launch the Rotate command? I could rotate it around the center of the circle -90 degrees. Now I have a perpendicular line. I can also select this segment. I'll launch the Rotate command. We'll rotate it around the intersection of the entities, 90 degrees.

Now I can use these two entities to trim my geometry. I'll select them and launch the Trim command, and then I'll trim off this stubborn straight segment and the inside of the circle. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. I will then select my unnecessary line work and press Delete. Finally, we'll add the 3-inch fillet to this intersection. I'll select the front edge and offset it 3 inches to the left. I'll select the lower edge and offset it 3 inches up.

I'll then create a circle at the intersection with a radius of 3, and then we'll try and trim. I'll select the circle, Trim. I'll click this line, and this one. I'll press Escape when finished, I will then select this edge and this edge, we'll try and trim again. I'll click to take off the outside of the circle. And it looks like that one is not going to work. I'll press Escape, we'll just get that manually.

I'll take this edge that's parallel to the bottom. I'll select it and rotate around the intersection of the entities 90 degrees. I will then select this segment which is parallel to the front edge, and I'll rotate it around the intersection 90 degrees. This one is coming up a little short. That's all right. I will select my circle and use the Extend tool to extend the line to that edge.

I will then select each of these lines and use them to trim my circle. Finally, I'll select the unnecessary segments. Looks like I've got a small piece down here as well, and I'll press Delete to remove them from the drawing. Now that I'm finished, I'll move down and click to do with some extents. As you can see, even though AutoCAD WS has a basic toolset, you actually have the majority of the commands needed for most day-to-day production work. If you add a few geometric principles, you can even incorporate some of the forbidden features into your workflow.

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